November 19, 2017 / 12:47 PM

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UK Just Now Made It Legal to Burn CDs and Rip CDs to iTunes. In 2014.

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We're based in the United States so you'll forgive us if we're a little surprised by this announcement from the BBC: The UK has just now brought laws in effect that make it legal to copy music to duplicate CDs. Yes, burning CDs just now became legal in the UK. In 2014. 

Up until this point, creating backups for all of your home media, including music and DVDs has been illegal. Along the same lines, it was technically illegal to rip your CDs to iTunes. Even the Apple company, no stranger to making mad profits, seems to be okay with you transferring your CD collection to iTunes because it offers to do it for you whenever you put a disc in your computer (tangent: Would Apple have been guilty of entrapment for asking UK residents if iTunes asked if they wanted to rip CDs?). Fortunately, the common sense of law enforcement in the UK meant this was rarely enforced.

The Intellectual Property Office set the new law in motion during June but it has just now taken effect. 

"These changes are going to bring our IP [intellectual property] laws into the 21st century," said Baroness Neville-Rolfe, minister for Intellectual Property. Yeah, tell us about it. 

Some strict limits should be kept in mind however, especially for those who like to sell back their old albums. If you've copied a CD in any format, whether to another disc or to iTunes, you'll be breaking the law if you sell the album back. We have no idea how you'd be caught but yeah. And of course, if you lend the album to others for their own use, that will also be illegal. 

The United States got past the debate on making copies by passing the Audio Home Recording Act, which made it necessary for producers of blank CDs and other wares to pay a statutory royalty rate that go to media companies potentially affected. 

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